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Pete Wilding: Shrewsbury should be pushing for top half League One finish

FA Cup hero Pete Wilding believes Shrewsbury should be pushing for a top-half finish next season.

Matthew Pennington of Shrewsbury Town and Will Keane of Wigan Athletic (AMA)
Matthew Pennington of Shrewsbury Town and Will Keane of Wigan Athletic (AMA)

Steve Cotterill’s side finished 18th in League One last year, 10 points above the relegation zone.

But while Wilding believes there would be have been understandable reasons why, he felt the team looked disjointed at times.

Salop tended to play in a 3-5-2 formation last season but they also opted for a 3-4-3 system at times.

And Wilding believes there were times when the players struggled to switch between the systems.

“Collectively from the games I watched there was a couple I’d come away from thinking ‘they were really unlucky there’, said Wilding, who was part of the Shrewsbury side that famously beat Everton in the FA Cup back in 2003.

“But there were more games where I was thinking ‘what’s the set-up and how are they looking to play?’

“There were a few things disjointed and there may have been justifiable circumstances behind that.

“But at the time I was puzzled to identify the way they were trying to do things.

“Don’t get me wrong, they were on the end of a couple of tough scorelines, with good performances, but I think it’s vital to get that settled identity.

“It can become confusing to players.

“Even turning the clock back 20 years, changing the system too often at any level is tough, it really is.

“Are we a settled back three? Wing-backs? Three in midfield or four?

“It’s confusion and more often than not it’s hard for players to adapt to that too quickly.”

Wilding continued: “It’s about having strong beliefs on what we’re going to do, everybody on the same page.

“Look at some of the successful sides in the league, why have they gone up?

“Have they been complicated about why they’ve done it? Probably not.

“A lot goes into it, recruitment – I know the management do a lot themselves. I’d want a bit more if I was a season ticket holder.”

Wilding believes a top-half finish should be a realistic target for Town next season.

“I honestly think they should be pushing for 10th, looking up and being there or thereabouts, going for a push,” he added.

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